1. Rookies are Putting in the Work:Like every practice under coach Dan Quinn, minicamp workouts were high-energy and fast-paced. The players responded to that atmosphere by showing coaches they're a motivated bunch.
"I've been impressed by the work ethic of this group," Quinn said. "This class has already become close and tight; the work ethic you feel. They know they wouldn't be here if they didn't have the talent, but the things that separate us now is the work ethic. That's how the one percenters—how they separate themselves is with the work ethic. That's really the message we're trying to instill in the guys."
2. Players aren't Pressured to be Perfect: Making the jump to an NFL team can be a difficult task. New systems have to be learned, and once the players absorb loads of information, they have apply it against high-quality opponents. Knowing this, coaches are have made it clear that missteps will be tolerated as long as the rookies are putting in yeoman's work.
"The biggest thing that they've been preaching is, 'If you make mistakes, make them at full speed,'" said linebacker De'Vondre Campbell. "You don't want to make a mistake at low (speed) because you can fix errors, but you can't coach effort. Effort is something that's internal."
3. USC Running Back Looking Strong: A number of CFA signings fared especially well at minicamp, including Brandon Wilds. The running back joined Atlanta following a successful career at University of South Carolina, where he tallied 1,844 rushing yards, a 4.9 yards per carry average and 16 total touchdowns in 41 games.
"The quickness showed up," Quinn said about Wilds. "He can really stick his foot in the ground and get vertical. So Wild is probably the one offensively that jumped out to me."
4. Competition is Everywhere: Competition is at the heart of Atlanta's program, and that means every player, even those on special teams, will be involved in a positional battle. This includes veteran Matt Bryant: one of the NFL's best kickers. Nick Rose, a CFA signing out of Texas, could push for a spot on the 53-man roster.
"We were pleased with him today," Quinn said about Rose. "Both days we kicked a lot. We tracked all the stuff, went all the way back as far as he can. He's got a strong leg. And talking to (special teams coach) Keith Armstrong, the technique's there. We knew we were going to come and have competition at the position, and he certainly proved he's up for the challenge."
5. Improvements Were Made: A lot of information was thrown at the rookies over the course of 72 hours, but by the end of Saturday's practice, Quinn was happy with the progress everyone—from the draft picks to free agent signings to tryout players—made on and off the field.
"I saw the improvement from Day 1 to Day 2. That's the whole goal: Can we get better? Even if it's by small margins. That totally happened today. … Everybody helped himself today."